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The GamesBeat Summit Next 2022’s ‘How a Punk Bassist’s Legacy Moves the NFT Conversation to one of Earned Value’ panel is worth a look. Freeverse’s Alun Evans certainly makes it sound like former bassist and tech writer Chris Anderson foresaw Web3’s problems, issues such as speculation, very early on.
Now the developers working in Web3 gaming have to make a decision about the future, and it feels like they gotta do it fast. Currently, most web3 content is seen as based on speculation at the very least. That is, that value is perceived and generated by the rarity of something.
“The Web3 problem is that games based purely on speculation tend to boom-and-bust,” said Evans, speaking at the GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 event. “We’ve seen the evidence of that, but you don’t even have to see the evidence to think it makes sense. There will never be an influx of more and more new users to drive the economy.”
I’ve never been on board with this. I remember when crypto started to get big. The value shot up due to its perceived rarity. If someone has one bitcoin, that is one less bitcoin in the world. Bitcoins, while not physical, are not infinite. The technology that produces bitcoins will eventually stop and bitcoins will no longer be freely available.
That kind of speculation seems a bit logical to me.
Where is Web3 gaming.
But why exactly is that a part of Web3 gaming? Each specific item in a particular Web3 game is rare only because the game’s creators randomly decided to make it rare. The items are not tied to a technology, such as bitcoin.
An argument can be made that virtual land has a certain scarcity, but even that falls flat if you really think about it. That’s still speculation. It’s all digital. People can fly. Portals exist. There have been cases. Owning land isn’t nearly as valuable as developers deal with it.
To me, it seems developers look at bitcoin, see the pit eventually dry up, and collectively decide that’s the point. There are only 500 of this particular item ever in this game, which is why the item is valuable.
But we all know that there can be an unlimited number of items. Gamers, in general, will eventually become sensible. Web3 needs to step back before that happens, or it might be too late. Artificial scarcity for no real reason is a surefire way to push players out, let alone attract new players.
“We can reward players for their time by increasing NFTs,” Evans says. “That creates retention.”
So where should Web3 go?
Well, it’s tricky. One argument is that, rather than being artificially limited, those items should be unique. They must upgrade and evolve through actions a player takes. Evolving based on player actions makes each item completely unique and therefore valuable.
But that falls into another problem. Why would I want to buy that? I want to play the game. I don’t want to buy a solved game.
But I think the idea is on the right track. Instead of striving to evolve things for value, why not build games that change depending on how things evolve? Make sure the value lies in opening multiple experiences.
Freeverse focuses on creating NFTs that can change over time. That gives NFTs more usability than anything we’ve seen so far.
The idea that I can play a game one way, complete it and then share a completely different experience by buying or trading with another player? That has some value to me.
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